Historical Origins of Social Work Essay

Essay: In what ways do the historical beginnings of societal work influence the current profession in Ireland? In order to supply an in-depth treatment on how the historical beginnings of societal work have influenced the current nature of the profession in Ireland. it is of import for me to supply a specific apprehension of what the term denotes. Defined by Smale. Tuson and Statham ( 2000 ; 5 ) . ‘social work is about the intercessions made to alter societal state of affairss so that people who need support or are at hazard can hold their demands met more suitably than if no intercession were made’ . Morales and Sheafor ( 1977 ) province that ‘professional societal workers are dedicated to service for the public assistance and self-fulfillment of human existences ; to the disciplined usage of scientific cognition sing human and social behavior. to the development of resources to run into single. group. national and international demands and aspirations ; and to the accomplishment of societal justice’ . Many persons. other than field societal workers and including all those who work in residential. twenty-four hours attention and domiciliary attention. otherwise known as societal attention or attention workers are all involved in different types of societal work.

The Emergence of Social Work

Harmonizing to Sheldon and Macdonald ( 2009. p. 19 ) . ‘the term ‘social work’ was foremost used in Britain at the terminal of the 19th century’ . During this epoch. people practiced societal work in an effort to set up more realistic ways of get the better ofing societal hurt as opposed to trusting on traditional signifiers of charity work and philanthropic gift. Skehill ( 1999 ) and Darling ( 1972 ) province that Irish societal work portions many traditional aspirations of societal work elsewhere. such as in Britain and Finland and has been influenced by such states. However. it is besides shaped by the peculiar nature of Ireland’s society and by cardinal political procedures within the state over the past centuries. Albeit Ireland ‘industrialising’ at a different rate in comparing to England and elsewhere. cardinal characteristics of modern society such as: the growing in adept cognition in relation to persons and the household. the emanation of new adept professionals and the outgrowth of a broad signifier of authorities do look to hold had an impact on determining Irish societal work ( Skehill. 1999 ) .

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Earlier signifiers of societal work in Ireland evolved from spiritual motivations which included the giving of alms and the giving of service. Skehill ( 1999 ) high spots that the relationship between the spiritual organic structures and their concern with the proviso of charitable alleviation is of great importance. with the competition between Catholic and Protestant charities being the most important facet of the spiritual base of charities in the nineteenth century. Down through the old ages. Ireland has been a topographic point where persons have been ‘inspired by a sense of career and mostly guided by intuition’ ( Darling. 1972 ; 24 ) . Such persons have endeavoured to relieve the hurting and agony of the casualties within our society. An illustration of such epic organic structures in Ireland includes ‘Mary Aikenhead. girl of a Cork physician and laminitis of the Order of Irish Sisters of Charity. who began prison visiting in Dublin 1821’ ( Darling. 1972 ; 24 ) . The nineteenth century is ‘characterised by a whole overplus of charitable activities associating to instruction. wellness and welfare’ ( Skehill. 1990 ) .

In England. societal work began with the designation. classification and administration of assorted charities. which is most apparent in the work of the Charitable Organisation Society. The COS evolved in 1869 and was chiefly known as the Society for Organising Charitable Relief and Repressing Mendicity. This charitable organic structure had a specific purpose of trying to turn to the disjunction between philanthropic administrations and convey these organic structures together under some coherent umbrella ( Skehill. 199 ) . Over the same period of clip ( nineteenth century ) . no such major organic structure for societal work existed in Ireland. nevertheless at the beginning of the twentieth century the Irish province saw an effort to standardize charity within the state. Notably. the nature of societal work in Ireland is highlighted by the ‘link between philanthropic gift and its broader cultural and political dianoetic field. the dealingss between faith and charity. the gendered nature of patterns. and the individualistic attack to societal problems’ ( Skehill. 1990 ) .

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Although. societal work progressed to a greater extent in the twentieth century. one could reason that some of the most defining features of its current form in society could be accredited to its earlier presence in the nineteenth century ( Skehill. 1990 ) . For illustration. societal work in Ireland continues to be a pattern that is chiefly interested in helping the less good off in society. with households and kids being a key mark for societal work intercession and pattern staying individualistic. Besides. the profession has continued to work traditionally based on caring for and overlooking the clients of its service ( Skehill. 1990 ) . Because of this. it is of import to look at certain facets of philanthropic gift in 19th century Ireland in order to research the charitable works’ part to the present twenty-four hours societal work scheme ( Skehill. 1990 ) . Although societal work began to emerge in the nineteenth century. it was non until the beginning of the twentieth century that a consistent scheme of societal work developed ( Skehill. 1990 ) .

What is important about societal work in the early twentieth century is that it continued to be characterised by continuities in voluntary charity work and developed towards a more ‘strategic and structured pattern of professional societal work’ ( Skehill. 1990 ; 61 ) . However. throughout this epoch. societal work besides expanded due to a double procedure of development between interacting strands of cultural. political. rational and institutional patterned advance. This double procedure of development includes ‘the outgrowth of preparation and instruction for societal workers and the continued enlargement of untrained societal work’ within charitable organic structures ( Skehill. 1990 ; 97 ) .

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The form of societal work preparation that established in the twentieth century persisted in the undermentioned decennaries. with the continuance of an single focal point. place visiting. in-depth enquiries and concentration on the hapless. adult females and kids staying to be at the nucleus of its’ pattern. In Ireland. the wellness and public assistance service continued to develop in the mid-20th century and as a consequence. had a important influence on the development of societal work within this period. There was a lessening in the influence of the Catholic Church. professional preparation and employment for societal workers increased and the State developed a greater function in the proviso of societal services which led to increasing chances for the development of societal work.

Harmonizing to Darling ( 1971 ) . formal societal work preparation in Ireland began in 1899. when Reverend R. M. Gwynn established an association in Trinity College Dublin. with a primary purpose of advancing the survey of poorness. ‘The constitution of the Civic Institute of Ireland in 1914 Markss a important measure in the development of societal work in Ireland’ ( Skehill. 1999 ; 91 ) . The chief purpose of this society was the ‘study and probe of all inquiries and jobs impacting the lives of the Irish populace in their capacity as citizens or as dwellers of a metropolis. urban or rural country of Ireland’ ( Civic Institute of Ireland. 1914 in Skehill. 1999 ; 91 ) .


* Considine. M. and Dukelow. F. ( 2009 ) Irish Social Policy: A critical debut. Dublin: Gill & A ; Macmillan Ltd. * Sheldon. B. and MacDonald. G. ( 2009 ) Textbook of Social Work. London: Routledge. * Skehill. C. ( 1999a ) : The Nature of Social Work in Ireland. a Historical Perspective. Lewiston. USA: Edwin Mellen Press. * Morales. A. and Sheafor. B. W. 1977. Social Work: A Profession of Many Faces. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Inc. * Darling. V. ( 1971 ) ‘Social Work in the Republic of Ireland’ . Social surveies. Irish Journal of Sociology. 1 ( 1 ) 24-37. *